A great indicator of an event’s success is when everyone has a rollicking good time. This plus lots more was evident at the recently concluded 77th Oktoberfest at Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
Tapping of the barrel
Sofitel’s Harbor Garden Tent opened its doors at exactly 6pm for its annual Oktoberfest in partnership with German Club Manila. People started coming in earnest past 7, and shortly before 8. Master of Ceremony Mr. Michael Schiele welcomed the revelers together with his co-emcee Ms. Eiffelene Salvador. More welcome remarks from some of the VIPs present ensued. H.E. Dr. Thomas Ossowski, German Ambassador to the Philippines, talked briefly about the history of the German flag as well as German-Filipino relations. Mr. Adam Laker, Sofitel Manila’s GM, compared this year’s Oktoberfest with last year’s and mentioned that 18,000 liters of San Miguel beer were readied especially for the festivities.
The tapping of the first keg of Oktoberfest beer officially signaled the start of the festival. It is usually done by the incumbent Mayor of Munich with the cry “O’zapft is” (Austro-Bavarian for “It’s tapped!”)! In Sofitel, this tradition was done by Dr. Ossowski and Mr. Laker together with German Club Manila president Mr. Klaus Sudhoff.
O’zapft is! With Mr. Schiele, Dr. Ossowski, Mr. Laker, and Mr. Sudhoff.
A feast of authentic Bavarian food – from cold cuts and grilled sausages to Bavarian cream and rye rolls – plus free flowing beer satisfied the gastronomic cravings of the guests. Light beer drinkers also appreciated that iced tea and water were available upon request.
It was also a great occasion to chill and sample authentic Bavarian fare.
The Bavarian Sound Express provided live and rousing music all throughout the night. They started off with a set of traditional music interspersed with a few impressive yodeling performances. They continued with sets of popular and timeless tunes (think really fun versions of “Proud Mary” and “Surfin’ USA”). The area in front of the stage was soon full of people letting their hair down and dancing the night away. The energy of the crowd was very palpable.
The beer drinking contests for men and women were fun to watch, too. As the photos below show, the crowd was a good mix of locals, tourists, and expats. The latter seemed to have the upper hand in the beer drinking contests, though!
This was the first of the two beer drinking contests for the women.
On your marks, get set…
They got the crowd up on their feet and dancing in no time.
Let your hair down!
Raffles and sponsors
Cool raffle prizes were also given away to several lucky ticket holders. The major ones included a round-trip ticket from Lufthansa and a Macbook Air. Minor raffle prizes included an industrial fan and other home appliances, a Fujifilm Instax, and several accommodation GCs. This year’s sponsors include Lufthansa, Visa, Femsa Philippines, BBR, Bosch, DB Schenker, Allied Metals, Solange, MHE Demag, and CS Garment, Inc.
A beautiful Beetle in Bavarian colors at the entrance. Photo courtesy of Kat Nocom.
I’ve never been to the actual Oktoberfest in Germany, but I’m willing to bet that the Sofitel and German Club Manila partnership was able to capture the spirit of the world-famous yearly tradition. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for next year’s event!
Sofitel‘s 2015 Oktoberfest
Harbor Garden Tent, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City 1300
02 551 5555